Updated: Apr 29
The past few days have been a whirlwind of news on COVID-19. In the midst of the African American COVID-19 disproportioned death toll and diagnosis report, Congresswoman Maxine Waters slams US General Jerome Adams over disparaging racial remarks. Sean Combs called on thought leaders for “The State of Black America & The Coronavirus” forum. Luther Campbell urges African Americans while on Facebook Live to cultivate a community action plan and not wait for leaders like Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez'.
The foundation of this outrage is founded on the crux of the report released on Wednesday. A 7-page report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, delineated a 4-week study that was a representation of 28% of the United States, based on 14 states. Among its finding African-Americans made up 18% of the study population but in a stark comparison made up 33% of those hospitalized with COVID-19.
African Americans in Los Angeles County make up 9 percent of the population but 17 percent of COVID-19 related deaths.
African Americans in Michigan make up 14 percent of the population but 40 percent of COVID-19 deaths.
African Americans in Wisconsin make up 27 percent of the population but 70 percent of COVID-19 deaths.
African Americans in Louisiana make up 32 percent of the population but 70 percent of COVID-19 deaths.
Modern Health Care released a separate report from data firm Rublix Life Sciences on “recent billing information in several states and found that an African American with symptoms like cough and fever was less likely to be given one of the scarce coronavirus tests.” This delay in care can be detrimental for African-Americans with preconditions like high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes which further highlight inequalities across the board for African Americans.
On Friday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams attributed disproportioned numbers with African American use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. He then clarified his statements by saying these comments were meant to warn all Americans and not just African Americans, yet the comments left many stunned.
U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters immediately issued a statement condemning the highly offensive remarks. “Donald Trump has found a new vessel by which to spew his racist dog whistles: his Surgeon General Jerome Adams. That the Surgeon General of the United States would stand before the American people – and his community – and deliver an address riddled with racist tropes in the midst of a public health crisis is absolutely unconscionable and deeply offensive,” said Congresswoman Waters.
“Instead of using the full power of his office to better inform and direct resources to the African American community, Jerome Adams used his five minutes of fame to do Trump’s dirty work and insult African Americans and other communities of color. Those of us who understand our history heard today’s so-called advice from a Trump acolyte for what it was: a backhanded attack on African Americans and communities of color by an incompetent administration that has utterly failed to rise up to the challenge that coronavirus presents to this country.”
The Call to Action
On Thursday Sean Combs used his network Revolt to sound the alarm on The State of Black America & The Coronavirus by bringing together thought leaders to mobilize African Americans with an agenda. Angela Rye called for African-Americans to develop a Community Stimulus plan and not a Federal plan. The platform coalition was comprised also of Van Jones, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Reverend Al Sharpton, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and Killer Mike.
This call for a Community Plan was also echoed on Saturday night by Luther Campbell who went Live on his Facebook page and urged for the Miami African American community to rally together to “build a circle.” This call to action has to permeated to further conversations among African Americans to create the change that is necessary because the world as we know it will no longer exists in its pre COVID state.